December 5, 2021

I, Science

The science magazine of Imperial College

Imperial College PhD student Zoltan Hiezl describes his experiences in the field of materials science ...


As a member of the Department of Materials, my research is based in the Centre for Nuclear Engineering, where I am preparing and characterising UO2-based materials, to simulate those materials found in spent nuclear fuel.

By studying in the Department of Materials, you are given the opportunity to attend conferences, travel and work abroad, and meet people from industry in order to build up good relationships and hopefully help you with your future career. Indeed, researchers at the Department of Materials work closely with industrial partners to make production more effective and to create better products. The majority of our research applies to sectors such as transport, energy conversion, environmental protection, healthcare and electronics.

There are hundreds of projects within these groups, allowing anyone who is interested in materials science to find a theme that suits their interests. Our six core research themes are: advanced alloys; functional materials; biomaterials and tissue engineering; nanotechnology and nanoscale characterisation; ceramics and glasses; as well as theory and simulation of materials.

It is also an interdisciplinary research group, bringing together researchers from many different fields. Within the research group there are material scientists, engineers and physicists. Personally, I am a chemist with an extensive background in radiochemistry. Furthermore, some of us are experimentalists, while others are doing calculations and modelling systems on computer.

If this kind of work sounds interesting and you want to join the Department of Materials, you really need to be studying at least one of maths, physics or chemistry at school. Although additional biology knowledge is also welcome for certain research projects.

So if the idea of inventively applying science to solve the challenging problems of real industry and engineering appeals to you, why not consider studying in the Department of Materials? We bring science to everyday life.


IMAGE: Jacquelinetinney, flickr